Collins survives McMurray, declares victory in NY-27

Democrat concedes, but later demands a recount

Mike Baggerman
November 07, 2018 - 1:16 am

Congressman Chris Collins speaks after Nate McMurray initially concedes in 2018 midterm election. November 7, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The hotly contested and much anticipated race for the NY27 Congressional seat between Republican Chris Collins and Democrat Nate McMurray was too close to officially call, but the challenger appeared to realize that only after initially conceding.

McMurray is now demanding a recount.

The Democrat addressed supporters shortly after 11 p.m., telling them the effort was "going to come up a little short."

That prompted Collins to declare victory about a half hour later.

According to the unofficial vote count on the New York State Board of Elections, Collins defeated McMurray by just barely over one percentage point. With over 277,000 voters in the race for NY-27, Collins edged McMurray but just under 3,000 votes.

"We're going to come a little short tonight," McMurray said to supporters at his campaign headquarters in Hamburg. "We did something great. It is never something shameful when you fight a righteous fight. That's what you did. I said since the beginning that we're going to break the machine...Sometimes when you take on those big puts a dent in it. But if you keep whacking it, eventually it's going to break."

The congressman, who was indicted on August 8 of insider trading and for lying to the FBI, was projected by several polls as the favorite going into the midterm elections due to the heavily-red district. However, his indictment casted a shadow on his future as a politican and paved the way for McMurray to launch an offensive.

Shortly after his speech, McMurray released a statement demanding a recount.

"I'm standing before you today as the congressman going back to congress for the next term," Collins said in a press conference after McMurray initially conceded. "I'm very honored to continue to serve my constituents. I can't thank them enough for standing with me and President Trump. To a large extend, this election came down to the support of our president."

Collins said that he will serve out his full-term. He is due in court in 2020.

"Going through this, the thought I would not fulfill my term is crazy," Collins said. "When it comes to constituent service, we're known as the best. My work ethic, my voting record is why I was re-elected. That will continue, whether we're supporting the veterans, the elderly, the disabled, which has always been a focus of my constituent service and my voting record."

The congressman reiterated that he expects to be exonerated.

"I am innocent until proven guilty even though the press convicted me, dismembered me, and burned me at the stake," Collins said after calling local media outlets fake. "Some of the polls that showed me up weren't reported. If you read the fake Buffalo News you would see report after report, you would think they're on our opponents payroll. We set a strategy. The strategy did not include the media. We executed our strategy. We won."

Collins said they'll answer the media when they are "reasonable".

McMurray vowed to continue fighting against the machine that got Collins re-elected.






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